Too much oil?

Crude oil cars sitting on tracks in British Colombia
Crude oil cars sitting on the railroad tracks in Coquitlam, British Colombia. Canada is among the non-OPEC member countries that have boosted oil exports (source: dpa)
  • With energy efficiency on the rise, future oil prices will probably be defined by supply
  • Output among traditional oil producers is generally guided by OPEC
  • Shale oil technology has disrupted the oil cartel’s output and pricing powers
  • OPEC’s best chance to prop up oil prices is a deal that includes Russia and the U.S.

At the end of last year, reputable experts were predicting that oil prices would be on the rise during 2017, and that by the end of the year they would reach the $60 mark. As time went by, however, those predictions were revised repeatedly – and each time the revisions pointed south. By the end of July, crude was selling for about $46 a barrel, almost 20 percent lower than at the beginning of the year and about half the level three years ago. Will oil prices keep dropping on persistent high supply and sluggish demand? Or will they recover, as producers find a way to limit production?

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